Asparagus is a great addition to any backyard garden. Once you get it established it will continue to provide for you every spring with very little effort required to keep it happy and healthy. Read on for more details on how you can plant asparagus in your garden!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that we’ve been meaning to plant asparagus in our garden for a good ten years. We’ve always loved it and buy pounds and pounds of local asparagus every spring so we thought, why not grow our own?
As it worked out, we just never seemed to remember to pick it up when we were at the garden centre early in the spring each year and we’d always swear that next year would be the year. Asparagus actually takes a few years to get established before you can harvest it, so the sooner you can get it growing the better, in our case though, we’re just going to say “better late than never”!:)
We were at the garden centre picking up some annuals last week and they happened to have some asparagus crowns displayed right next to the cash register. You’d better believe we grabbed those things as fast as we could! Mission accomplished! Finally!
Right now is a great time of year to get your asparagus plants started, so if you’d like to plant asparagus as well, here’s how!
How to Plant Asparagus: Get Prepared
Start out by preparing the soil. Asparagus plants are perennials and once you plant them, they’ll continue to produce for you for 20-30 years. Since these plants will be staying in the same location for a very long time, you want to give them a great start and make sure that your soil is rich in nutrients and that it drains well.
We added some composted sheep’s manure to the area of the veggie garden that we’d set aside for our asparagus and since our drainage is already pretty good, that was all we needed to do. If you’re concerned with the drainage in the area where you want to plant your asparagus, add a bit of sand to the soil in the area and that should help.
We also created a bit of a border around the asparagus area using pressure treated wood so that we would know exactly where the asparagus are planted so we don’t disturb them while they’re getting established.
How to Plant Asparagus in Your Garden
Dig holes or trenches about 12 inches deep. We were planting about 15 plants, so we found that trenches were the easier way to go.
Create a little mound of earth just a few inches high in the bottom of your trench or hole.
Place your asparagus crowns with the roots down on top of the mounds, spreading the roots out as you set the plants down.
Here you can see how the crowns look before you place them in the trench. Lots of roots!
You want to place your plants about 12-18 inches apart.
Fill your trenches back in with soil to a height of about two to three inches above the top of your asparagus crowns.
Water them well! Thanks to Jack for helping us demonstrate!
Oh my goodness, his hair lately just cracks me up! He really has no interest in getting a hair cut right now. 🙂
Here’s our little asparagus patch, all planted and ready to start growing!
As your asparagus shoots emerge, add a little more soil to the top of your plants.
Continue to add a little more soil every once in awhile as the shoots grow taller and keep going until you have a slight mound around each plant instead of a trench. This will allow for settling as the season progresses.
How to Plant Asparagus: Let it Grow
Once your shoots are growing and you have the soil mounded up slightly around them, you’re pretty much done with them for the rest of the season. Continue to keep them well-watered, but don’t harvest your shoots that first growing season…and the same goes for the second season!
You actually want to wait until your plants are a full three years old before you begin harvesting from them. Most asparagus crowns are already one year old when you purchase them, so that means that on the third growing season that you have them in your garden you’ll be able to harvest!
Your asparagus plants will grow thin, feathery fronds later in the season. You want to leave those as well and let them die down in the winter. Don’t trim your plants back at all until the new shoots begin to emerge next spring.
I’m so amazed at how much an asparagus plant can produce over the years, so it’s definitely worth the wait and the little bit of effort to get them started in your garden. My neighbour planted a single asparagus plant a few years ago and it’s been amazing to see how much more that one plant produces every year! You can see some photos of her plant here to see how a slightly more mature asparagus plant looks after a couple of years.
So that’s really all there is to it! After a few years, you’ll have all the asparagus you can eat for decades! I can’t wait!
Do you grow asparagus in your garden?
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